Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Landry Park by Bethany Hagen #Giveaway


Title: Landry Park (Landry Park #1)
Bethany Hagen
Publisher: Speak (Penguin)
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Acquired Via:

Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal

Sixteen-year-old Madeline Landry is practically Gentry royalty. Her ancestor developed the nuclear energy that has replaced electricity, and her parents exemplify the glamour of the upper class. As for Madeline, she would much rather read a book than attend yet another debutante ball. But when she learns about the devastating impact the Gentry lifestyle—her lifestyle—is having on those less fortunate, her whole world is turned upside down. As Madeline begins to question everything she has been told, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana, who seems to be hiding secrets of his own. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty—her family and the estate she loves dearly—and desire.

Fans of Ally Condie, Kiera Cass, Veronica Roth, and even Jane Austen will be enthralled by this breathtaking read.

My Review

There's not really much better than receiving the occasional, surprise finished copy of a book in the mail from a publisher. The new paperback of Landry Park was so shiny and pretty that I had to, of course, move it to the top of my reading pile. I had been interested in the novel when it first released in hardcover last year, but time did not allow for me to read it. I jumped at the chance this time.

Landry Park is about Madeline Landry becoming aware of the suffering that sustains the lifestyle which she enjoys. Her United States is a few hundred years in the future, and the Eastern Empire has taken the part of the country west of the Rockies. The society is maintained by nuclear energy, which is handled by the Rootless, who fought the Uprisen after the war. The world-building is solid and makes good sense, and I wish there had been a lot more of it. The majority of the novel surrounded the relationships between the characters.

On one hand, there's not really a love triangle, though it seems that way through the first half of Landry Park. Then things seem to escalate a bit to soap opera proportions with a variety of love interests. (OK, maybe there weren't that many, but it seemed so at times.) There were scandals and secret loves left and right, and I would have probably loved it, if it had been my thing. Even though scandalous, jealous romance isn't my cup of tea, I didn't hate anything. Well, I dislike David, but that's just because he wouldn't just be honest. Anywho, leaving that alone because spoilers.

I do want to say that "period"-seeming novels set in another time are a lot of fun to read. Landry Park is no exception to this. Instead of relying on coal or gas like Victorian or Antebellum times, nuclear energy was the king. And it was just as dangerous, if not more so, to come by, and the "slaves" and working class suffered from just as much deadly work environments and social injustices.

The only problem that I had with the novel is that it started to drag a little in the middle. There is a little bit of angst and a lot of Madeline trying to solve the mystery surrounding Cara Westoff's attack. It doesn't really pick back up until Jude enters the picture. I like him a lot for some reason.

If you are a fan of dystopias or period romances, Landry Park is a great crossover novel that bridges the two genres. It was a lot of fun to read, and I can't wait until Jubilee Manor

- 3.5/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond

About Bethany Hagen

I have a basement full of books and a computer full of writing. I love drinking coffee and doing karate with my husband (usually not at the same time.) I've been a model for a painter, stung by a sting-ray, stuck in a coma, and I used to dress up as a 1904 schoolmarm, but I got paid for it, so it's not weird. Currently the day job is in a library, so every once in a while I throw a temper tantrum about the Dewey Decimal system.

Find Bethany Online
Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Goodreads


Enter to win a paperback copy of Landry Park!
Ends at 12:01am EST on February 14th

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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.

Cover Reveal (Giveaway): Lion's Share by Rachel Vincent

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Title: Lion's Share (Wildcats #1)
Rachel Vincent
Cover Reveal Organizer: Xpresso Book Tours
Release Date: February 23, 2015

Abby Wade has a dangerous secret.

Two months ago, she disobeyed an order, but instead of kicking her out of the Pride, Jace offered her a job. Since then, she’s been battling a completely inappropriate crush on the young, hot Alpha. But when accepting his job offer seems like the only way to keep her skeletons safely in their closet, Abby doesn’t hesitate.

Jace Hammond has a big problem.

A rogue is slaughtering humans in his territory, and he must eliminate the threat before the entire shifter species is exposed. There could not be a worse time for Abby to accept a job he only offered as a boost to her confidence. Abby is smart, beautiful, and resilient—more than enough to distract any man from the mission. Unfortunately, she may just be the worst enforcer ever to hold the title.

As they hunt the killer, Abby’s secret becomes a threat to Jace’s authority and to her own life. But the real danger is the grip she has on his twice-shy heart.

About the Author

Rachel Vincent is the author of the Shifters series and the Unbound series for adults, as well as the Soul Screamers series for teens.

Rachel's next young adult book is The Stars Never Rise, coming from Delacorte in June of 2015, and her new series for adults will debut with Menagerie, coming from Mira books in the fall of 2015.

Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who's been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy--but social media is a close second.


Enter to Win a Complete, Signed Set of Shifters Novels
Ends at 12:01am EST on February 6th

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (91): Lois Lane: Fallout


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Lois Lane: Fallout
Gwenda Bond
Publisher: Switch Press (Capstone)
Release Date: May 1, 2015

Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in. Stay quiet. Fly straight. As soon as she steps into her new high school, though, she can see it won’t be that easy. A group known as the Warheads is making life miserable for another girl at school. They’re messing with her mind, somehow, via the high-tech immersive videogame they all play. Not cool. Armed with her wit and her new snazzy job as a reporter, Lois has her sights set on solving this mystery. But sometimes it’s all a bit much. Thank goodness for her maybe-more-than-a friend, a guy she knows only by his screenname, SmallvilleGuy.

I grew up watching the '70s Superman movies and the Lois and Clark TV series, so I'm excited to see Lois Lane get a book all to herself. I'm also enjoying some of the YA versions of some of my favorite comic book characters, like Marvel's Ms. Marvel, and I've heard really good things about this one.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

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Title: A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing #1)
Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours

A spinning wheel.
A prick of a finger.
A Terrible curse.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. Everyone expects Aurora to marry her betrothed and restore magic and peace to the kingdom before revolution tears it apart. But after a lifetime spent locked in a tower for her own safety, Aurora longs for the freedom to make her own choices. When she meets a handsome rebel, she is tempted to abandon everything for a different kind of life.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

A Wicked Thing is a surprising, spellbinding reimagining of what happens
after happily ever after.

My Review

Rhiannon Thomas' A Wicked Thing is the biggest surprise for me so far in 2015. The story follows Aurora, the sleeping beauty, one hundred years after she fell asleep. It was handled in a way that surprised me (see, I said it again) because I was expecting a sappy romance or something with a lot of self-hatred because of the alleged wickedness. Then again, it may because I've read a really wonderful Sleeping Beauty retelling, and I was afraid that it would never compare. (It was different enough that it did.)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Love to Read with My Book Club


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Would Love to Read with My Book Club

All of my choices come from NPR's top 100 YA books.

Books I Have Already Read

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

This is one of my favorite series ever, and I would love a chance to re-read it and pick apart everything and discover new ideas about the books.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is another one of my favorite books, and it would be great to leisurely read through it again and be able to discuss all the great and terrible things.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cover Reveal: Whipped by Kelly Collins

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Title: Whipped (Decadent #3)
Kelly Collins
Publisher: Self
Release Date: February 13, 2015

Roxy Somerville grew up with everything. Sports cars and designer clothes were commonplace in her life. Love, affection and autonomy were not. She left her life of luxury, and traded her riches for freedom, a freedom that would lead her back to her first love.

Bobby Anderson had very little in the way of wealth as a child. He had a supportive family and it made him the richest of men. For a time, he had Roxy, then she was gone. Now she’s back in his life, and he will stop at nothing to keep her.

Travel through past mistakes to second chances. Take a journey straight to the heart of love. Whipped is dipped in intrigue and suspense and immersed in sizzling hot passion. Once you find yourself Whipped, there is no turning back.

Buy the first two books in the Decadent series:

Just Dessert
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Brownie Points

About the Author

Kelly Collins lives in Colorado with her husband, James. She’s the proud mother of three young adults. They are her greatest accomplishment.

Reading has always been a passion. That passion turned into a career after she took a flight to New York and asked a what if question. That question turned into her first book, Tempo.

She has a passion for her family, a love of lemondrop martinis and is known to stop for anything shiny. She love hockey, gerbera daisies and standing in front of her fireplace until she nearly combusts.

Armed with a martini and her laptop, Kelly loves nothing more than to create a world that any woman would want to explore.

Facebook | Website | Newsletter

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

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Title: The Ghosts of Heaven
Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillian)
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Acquired Via:

Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect the four episodes of The Ghosts of Heaven, the mesmerizing new novel from Printz Award winner Marcus Sedgwick. They are there in prehistory, when a girl picks up a charred stick and makes the first written signs; there tens of centuries later, hiding in the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who people call a witch; there in the halls of a Long Island hospital at the beginning of the 20th century, where a mad poet watches the oceans and knows the horrors it hides; and there in the far future, as an astronaut faces his destiny on the first spaceship sent from earth to colonize another world. Each of the characters in these mysterious linked stories embarks on a journey of discovery and survival; carried forward through the spiral of time, none will return to the same place.

My Review

The Ghosts of Heaven... This is not an easy one to gather my thoughts about. I think it may be easiest to break it down by quarter (there are four shortish stories that make up the novel).

Quarter One: Whispers in the Dark

This story reminded me a lot of Hunting the Ghost Dancer by A.A. Attanasio, which is funny because I haven't read that book in nearly twenty years and can't recall the last time that I even thought about the book. *thinks about it* Okay, all they really have in common is that they're both set in prehistoric times. But still! I thought about that other book a lot.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spotlight: Fate Reborn by Christina Ow

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Title:Fate Reborn (Dukkha Fates #1)
Author: Christina Ow
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Released Date: January 30, 2015

Ashat is a werewolf who’s lived three centuries in sorrow and torment after his family was killed by an enemy-Baku. The only way he is able to bear his long life is drinking himself into a drunken stupor, women and hunting down Baku. His world suddenly changes when he meets Merilee and he is finally able to love and be happy again.

Merilee lost her family in a fire when she was five. However she isn’t too sure about that, her nightmares show her something very different to what her shrink has been telling her for thirteen years. She was raised by her two adoptive sisters Ann and Maria in an orphanage. She has a fear of letting people in and losing them. This fear makes her put up with an obnoxious boyfriend Steve until she’s finally gets the courage to get rid of him.

She finally meets a man who she instantly has a crush on and ultimately falls in love with after their first night together.

But Merilee and Ashat have met before in the worst of situations.

About the Author